REVIEW: Sleeping Beauty, Bridlington Spa

Sleeping Beauty panto cast at Bridlington Spa
Sleeping Beauty panto cast at Bridlington Spa

Oh yes it is! This panto is a magical, sparkling feast of fun featuring the big personality that is Rustie Lee, one of the best dames in business Steve Shappelle and John Lyons – otherwise known as detective George Toolan from ITV’s Frost – as you’ve never seen him before.

That’s not counting Scarborough performer Lori Kellett as Princess Aurora, the vain and valiant Prince, Jonathan Eio, Simon Grant as comedy-turn Muddles and a gloriously evil Louise Travis as Fairy Carabosse.

Dancers from the Collette Tyler School add the cute-factor and some fancy footwork. They all add up to traditional refreshingly gimmick-free pantomime – witty, tuneful, colourful and plenty of audience participation.

Forget the plot – princess pricks her finger and falls asleep for 100 years, wakes up, falls in love and marries – job done.

This is about having fun and Rustie is in the vanguard of that mission. She is warm and wonderful as Fairy Lilac. She has a powerful soul-ful voice, too. Rustie certainly earns her fee – mixing with the audience and spreading bonhomie.

I’m a sucker for a good dame – and Shappelle is beyond superlatives. He is a cross between Arthur Lucan – Old Mother Riley – and Charles Hawtrey of the Carry On films. He is rather naughty – lots of ‘bottom’ jokes – full of flirty innuendo and there is never a dull frock when he is on stage. Comedy moments are many – best among ‘em the Twelve Days of Christmas song.

Fabulous to see talent that the YMCA in Scarborough nurtured, come to full bloom in Lori – she shines as Aurora.

Sleeping Beauty is a pretty, old-fashioned – in the best possible way – shout-along, sing-along, all dancing, all-laughing, not-to-be-missed pantomime.

It runs until Thursday January 1.

Review: Sue Wilkinson